PacSci Perspectives


Fresh Sheet – June 2, 2018

by | Jun 2, 2018

Anartia amathea (Scarlet Peacock)

Anartia amathea (Scarlet Peacock)

Butterfly mating

Spring is in the air and as everywhere in nature, romance is evident in our Tropical Butterfly House. Sure, we might see the occasional human couple hand-in-hand enjoying the flowers and butterflies. We’ve even witnessed an engagement or two this spring. And what about butterflies? Don’t they have amorous inclinations?

Observant guests may notice Lepidoptera of the same species engrossed in a behavior we call “The Butterfly Dance.” With some species, the male and female will encircle each other in their flight. With other species, the male flutters around the female with energetic movements. If the female is not interested, she will spread her wings flat and raise her abdomen to reject the male. Mating is consummated when the pair attach at the ends of their abdomens. It’s not uncommon to see a mating pair in the butterfly house, but where are all the eggs and caterpillars? That’s a discussion for a future Fresh Sheet.

Neotropical Insects NV

5 – Heraclides thoas (Thoas Swallowtail)
70 – Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
5 – Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
10 – Dryas iulia (Julia Longwing)
30 – Catonephele orites (Orange-banded Shoemaker)
70 – Anartia amathea (Scarlet Peacock)
5 – Hamadryas feronia (Variable Calico)
19 – Archeoprepona demophoon (Hubner’s Prepona)
5 – Biblis hyperia (Red Rim)
70 – Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
5 – Eryphanis polyxena (Purple Mort Bleu Owl)
6 – Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Total = 300


“Fresh Sheet” is our weekly shipment report of pupae on display in the emerging window. Visit Pacific Science Center’s Tropical Butterfly House and meet our newest residents.

These butterflies typically arrive as pupae on the Thursday or Friday before the Fresh Sheet is published. Some of these butterflies will start emerging the day they arrive or the next day, but other species may take a full week before they reach adulthood. After emerging, they may live for a week or even a few months! While we love sharing a variety of species with our guests, we cannot guarantee that any specific species will be flying on the day that you visit Pacific Science Center.

If you are interested in photographing a specific butterfly and would like to be updated about when it is flying in the Tropical Butterfly House, please email with details and your contact information.